One problem with being a homeschool parent is that it can feel kind of…isolating and overwhelming. You may feel like you are all alone in your quest to teach your children. You may or may not get a lot of support from your school district—and sometimes the support they give isn’t worth it anyway because they are rooting for you to fail so they can force your child back into the public school system. However, the internet is a magical place with all kinds of information, and it can be a huge help. However,typing “homeschooling resources” into google is going to generate you with about half a million results. That’s a lot of stuff to go through! It can be either helpful or overwhelming, depending on the way you look at it. It’s better to pare the information down so that you can bookmark just a few sites that you can use as a reference.But how do you know what to trust, especially when there are a lot of sites that require payment before you can actuallysee any of the content? And other sites mail you textbooks—some of which were written in the 1980s (!!!!) and call that a bargain. Think about how many things in the world have changed since then! You’d be finding nearly 40 years’ worth of supplemental materials for history and science/technology, at a minimum.
Here are three sites that we have found invaluable in our homeschooling journey:
One place with a lot of valuable information is the Home School Legal Defense Association. This site can give you information on the requirements and laws for your particular state, and connect you with support groups as well as providing organization tips and strategies. They even have a newsletter. If you join their organization, they have all kinds of things—letters you can send to your childrens’ school to let them know of your decision to homeschool, a detailed analysis of the homeschool laws specific to your state. Some states require more specific documentation than others, and some require subject be taught that others don’t. So be sure that you find out, either from your district person or from a site like this.
Another site we love is the iHomeschool Network. It brings parents and companies together so that parents can find the right educational materials for their children. They also have professionals to help guide you through anything you have trouble with—from getting started to difficult topics to making it more interesting for your children. We also enjoy a good podcast and they routinely have discussions from homeschooling moms about their victories and troubles, strategies and plans. They also host a NON-back to school blog hop so you can meet other great homeschooling families from all over the place!
We also love worksheets. It really helps supplement the materials we teach our kids, and being able to print quality worksheets online can help save time, money, and are great last minute things when your plans get derailed for whatever reason (“Kids, Mama has the flu. Here are some worksheets for today…”) In that regard, we absolutely love the worksheets available from The Teacher’s Corner. It is organized by topic and can be a huge helper when you need something like a fill-in answer quiz for comprehension purposes, or a crossword to check for vocabulary understanding.
Are there any sites that you use that you feel we missed? Tell us about it in the comments below!